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Tharan Says State Not Delivering on Vaccine Promise; Legislators Visit Clarion Vaccination Clinic

Sunday, February 21, 2021 @ 02:02 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

5DMK3027CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – A tour of visiting legislators led by Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson late Friday morning saw the efficiencies of the Clarion County COVID-19 vaccination center and the need for more vaccines.

(Photos by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography.

The center operated by Clarion Hospital with support from Clarion County normally gives 600 vaccinations each day it is open, but Friday was only able to give about 60 shots because of a shortage.

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Clarion County Commissioners secured the site, the former Gordman’s Department store near the Clarion Mall, and provided some support to Clarion Hospital and Butler Hospital that operate the clinic.

Commissioner Ted Tharan explained that shipments arrive once per week and are stored at the Clarion Hospital for refrigeration. However, the shipment was short this week.

“The problem is the state,” said Tharan. “You don’t have a clue of what you’re getting until it shows up on the dock. They (the state) wanted us to get all of this stuff done, and we had it going a month before they even suggested it.”

“They told us if you have the place, you’ll get the vaccine. We haven’t seen the vaccine we were promised and are closing early today (Friday) because they ran short. We could do twice as many as what we’re doing, but we can’t get the vaccine.”

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Clarion Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Leslie Walters said the clinic is working well with resources provided by Clarion County helping with the registration, and hospital staff does the scheduling, cleaning, and screening.

“It is a really nice collaboration,” said Walters.

Weather conditions also contributed to changing conditions, deliveries, and cancellations.

“On Tuesday, there were a lot of warnings. We scheduled around 600, and we had about 50 cancellations,” said Walters. “We did bring in a few people who weren’t on the schedule. We used all of the Pfizer we had on hand.”

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The clinic provides both Pfizer and Moderna, depending on supply, and schedules a required second shot.

Residents of Clarion and Forest Counties can register for appointments at https://clarionhospital.rsvpify.com. Clarion County has also established a local information number at 814-297-7820 for residents who do not have computer access. Nearly 1,000 messages were received, and 700 were eligible for registration.

“We’re way ahead of the game,” said Tharan. “And, if you consider that 3,900 doses that we got on the 4th of February were the largest amount to anyone in the state of Pennsylvania that day other than Butler County. However, Butler County has five times the population that Clarion does.”

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“The people at that clinic are stepping up and getting shots in arms very rapidly. We have to thank everybody that’s involved with that. The hospital is doing a fantastic job. You know, as I said, they haven’t heard of anyone else doing it. I know of other counties that have contacted us to see how we set it up.”

Thompson (R-PA 15th District) also toured what will be the future home of Greystar Manufacturing in Knox and the American Rabbit Breeders Association headquarters opening soon in Wentlings Corners.

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